A new bug that crashes Pentium and Pentium MMX computers is feared as a weapon for sabotage, according to a report on the Intel Secrets Web site. An Intel spokesperson confirmed the existence of the bug on Monday and said that the company hopes to post information on possible workarounds by the end of the week.
"This won't affect any commercial software," the Intel spokesperson said. "Somebody would have to maliciously put it out there and you'd have to download a piece of code."
Apparently, a single line of legal Pentium machine code can crash the processor. It would have to be purposefully added to a program.
Robert Collins, who runs the Intel Secrets Web site, has known about the bug for months and questions the company's claims of just finding out about it.
"Who knows, maybe they think the \[Pentium\] is dead anyways \[sic\], so why bother to worry about any more bugs?" he said, noting that the Pentium Pro and Pentium II processors are not affected